Jovan Belcher kills himself in front of Crennel, Pioli after thanking them
East 54th Terrace and Crysler Avenue
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
A Chiefs player shot and killed himself in front of the head coach and general manager after allegedly killing his girlfriend Saturday morning.
The shootings involved linebacker Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend, now identified as 22-year-old Kasandra Perkins. Perkins and Belcher had a 3-month-old daughter together.
The first shooting was reported about 8 a.m. at a home near East 54th Terrace and Crysler Avenue. The second shooting was reported about 10 minutes later at a Chiefs practice facility located by Arrowhead Stadium.
When police arrived at the home, a woman came out of the house and told them her daughter had been shot several times by her boyfriend. Despite calling Perkins her daughter, the woman was actually Belcher's mother. Police said the Chiefs player was renting the home on Crysler Avenue.
Police said Perkins was taken to the hospital where she died.
Officials said Belcher, 25, shot and killed his girlfriend and then drove to the practice facility, where he shot and killed himself. Belcher approached Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli and head coach Romeo Crennel outside of the practice facility, thanked them for all they had done for him and shot himself in the head as police arrived.
While Officer Darin Snapp didn't confirm what was believed to have led up to the shooting, he did say Belcher and his girlfriend had been known to argue in the past and had argued the morning of the shooting.
Friends of Perkins said the argument that led up to the shooting may have been centered around a Trey Songz concert. Perkins allegedly went to the performer's show Friday night at the Midland Theatre and stayed out later than Belcher would have liked. When she returned, the two started arguing.
There were four people in the home at the time of the shooting: Belcher, his mother, his daughter and Perkins. Police said the baby was in another room at the time and is now in the care of a grandmother.
Chiefs players arriving for a regularly scheduled team meeting at 9:30 a.m. to prepare for their matchup with the Carolina Panthers the following day had no idea what had happened.
Many players took to Twitter to offer their condolences.
"Times like this you have to pray!!! I love you man, brothers for life!!!!" wide receiver Dexter McCluster tweeted.
"I am devastated by this mornings (sic) events. I want to send my thoughts and prayers out to everyone effected (sic) by this tragedy," linebacker Tamba Hali tweeted.
Perkins is a cousin of the wife of another Chiefs player, running back Jamaal Charles. She recently moved to the Kansas City area from Texas.
Arrowhead was locked down for about an hour following the shooting while police tried to figure out exactly what happened, but they said nobody was ever in any danger.
Belcher went to school in Maine and is from West Babylon, NY. In 2012, the former rookie free agent linebacker entered his fourth season with Kansas City. He started 10 games this season and had 38 tackles.
Those who knew and worked with him said he was a quiet man and usually kept to himself.
Belcher's agent has been tweeting from his account and is encouraging everyone to donate to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at afsp.org.
Using the same Twitter account, Belcher's family said, "We would like to thank everyone for their support during this difficult time. We never would have imagined such a thing. A young child is now going to grow up without parents. Please continue to pray. God bless."
Kansas City Mayor Sly James spoke out about the tragedy when he heard the news.
"You know, I struggle a little bit because, obviously, Jovan Belcher's profile elevates the subject, but there are hundreds of young people who've lost their lives and they're all tragic. They're all regrettable, they're all things that, hopefully, we could have avoided. This one was particularly bad because of the circumstances, but I just hope people will look at the act and not try to judge the person. There's a lot of things you don't know," James said. "You have absolutely no idea what it's like to see somebody kill themselves. If you can take your worst nightmare and then put somebody that you know and love into that situation and give them a gun and stand three feet away from them and watch them kill themselves, that's what it's like. It's unfathomable, it's something that you would love to wash away from your mind, but you can't do it. I don't' know what else to tell you. Think about your worst nightmare, multiply by five."
According to a statement from the Chiefs, there will be a football game Sunday between the Chiefs and the Panthers.
"After discussions between the league office, head coach Romeo Crennel and Chiefs team captains, the Chiefs advised the NFL that it will play tomorrow's game vs. the Carolina Panthers at its originally scheduled time."
The Panthers arrived in Kansas City on Saturday.
KCTV5's Brad Fanning, Michael Coleman, Dave Jordan, Emily Rittman, Jeanene Kiesling and Justin Schmidt contributed to this story.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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